John Adrian Chamier bigraphy, stories - Pilots

John Adrian Chamier : biography

26 December 1883 - 3 May 1974

Air Commodore Sir John Adrian Chamier CB, CMG, DSO, OBE (26 December 1883 - 3 May 1974) is known as "The Founding Father of the ATC" for his role in the foundation of the Air Training Corps.

Military career

Royal Air Force

Chamier was educated at RMA Sandhurst. After graduating on the 27th August 1902 he was appointed to the Unattached List, Indian Army. He was appointed to the Indian Army as a Second Lieutenant 11th January 1904 but with senority from 27th August 1902. He was appointed to the 33rd Punjabis on the 5th February 1904 of the British Indian Army. Promoted Captain 27th August 1911. Chamier was appointed a Flying Officer in Royal Flying Corps on the 26th August 1915 in which he served as a pilot in the First World War.

After the war, he transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force, in which he served the rest of his career, eventually retiring in 1929.Air Cadet Publication 31: General Service Training, 2000. Section 1, p. 31.1.1-1

Air Training Corps

After retirement from the RAF, Chamier became secretary of the Air League of the British Empire. During his tenure as secretary Chamier became involved with the founding, in 1938 of the Air Defence Cadet Corps, which on February 5, 1941 evolved into the Air Training Corps because the ADCC was seen as too forceful and decided to change it to a more subtle name of ATC. He set up the ATC to promote recruitment in the RAF and to get young people who are interested in aviation to be able to go to their local squadron at their own free will, making it more enjoyable.

After it was founded, Chamier became the Air Training Corps' first Commandant, until his retirement in 1944. He was succeeded by Air Marshal Sir Leslie Gossage.

Civilian career

Between 1928 and 1931 Chamier was a director on the board of Vickers (Aviation) Limited.

Chamier was, at one time, the aviation correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).


Chamier has received several decorations for his service to the British Empire. He has been awarded the Order of the Bath, the Order of St. Michael and St. George, the Companion of Distinguished Service Order. In 1944 he was knighted as a Knight Bachelor.


Chamier had a Mignet HM.14 Flying Flea light aircraft registered G-ADME in his name between 1935 and 1938.

Published works

  • The Birth of the Royal Air Force (1943) ISBN: B0007IVX9W
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